Possibility is the stock in trade of the beginner.
Instead of being sure which answers are wrong, they imagine new possibilities, new ways to do things.
The essence of beginners mind is not the lack of knowledge or understanding, the mind being a blank slate, it is not letting what you know get in the way of appreciating what you do not yet know.
Having your mindset block new possibilities, having your habits and expectations form barriers to knew knowledge and understanding is the way that we close down and calcify,
Always being open to the new and surprising, being committed to continuous learning, and being willing to change your approach and habits are the way we stay open to possibility. To do this, we must find our happiness not in comfort and routine but in curiosity and growth. Rather than running away from challenges, we have to engage them, ready to become, in some small way, new.
Possibility is the stuff of dreams. To do the impossible, we must attempt what many people will dismiss as ridiculous, ideas they would doom to failure at first glance.
Dreams are the basis of transformation. We cannot create the new, the bold, the breathtaking and transformative without first imagining it.
I have long found the emptiness of people who will engage and affirm my dreams to be crushing.
The minute I whisper my imaginings, people start to evaluate them, filtering them through the lens of what they believe is right and possible in the world. They look through their list of stored failures, plot them on the map of their own fears, the scary places they have marked off limits because demons live there, and they tell my why my dreams are stupid, corrupt and wrong.
From the din of political correctness, the need to surrender our voice to the group, to the bitter pragmatism of the broken hearted, to the dullness of those who refuse to imagine beyond their own comfort, so many people reject beginners mind by rejecting any possibility that seems too bold or too challenging to them.
We all need realistic advice sure, need people to point out the costs and challenges of our dreams. That is, though, a different thing than needing people to pour cold water onto our dreams, working to crush the exuberance and energy held in our hopes.
Every dream morphs as we chase it into reality. We have to make hard choices, compromise and retrench, find practical solutions to problems. It is, however, the persistence in chasing that dream which gives us the strength to learn those lessons and make those shifts, for if the dream was crushed early we would never take the journey.
Often, the more dreams become real the more we find rewards and possibilities we never could have imagined if we hadn’t gone after our sketchy and idealized dream in the first place. As long as we have beginners mind, open to lessons and change, we can keep recreating that dream until it merges with reality to change our relationships, to change our lives, to change our world.
I work hard to say yes to the dreams of others, knowing that chasing dreams is the only way to become new. By bringing focus and discipline to dreams we can meld imagination with hard work to create better.
Finding someone, though, to say yes to my dreams, has been impossible. Without being able to share dreams out loud, to see someone eyes brighten as they are amused or engaged by them. Exploring what is possible without talking it through is almost no exploration at all.
To begin again, becoming new and potent in the world, we have to live in possibility. Dreams are required.
They just don’t seem to be included.